Our lives are like a liquid; they are constantly moving, they are volatile, and will adapt and change to fill whatever environment they are in. We, as human beings, do not stay the same as we go through it. How little the changes actually are doesn’t matter; we are still constantly changing. Who we were a few years ago is not the same person we are today, and that person today is going to be different than the person tomorrow. When we run into old acquaintances, we can hear that we haven’t changed at all, that we still look or act the same way, but that’s not true. Even if on the outside we look the same, we are not the same on the inside. And nothing will change us more than going through an experience with mental illness and recovery. The entire recovery process is dedicated to changing you and helping you to improve your habits and thought processes. It’s what will ultimately help you. But it can be a scary thought.
When we first run into mental illness, we are scared for a lot of reasons, one of which is because of how it changes us. We are scared of the way it makes us feel different physically, mentally, and emotionally. We don’t like the way our body feels numb when we are anxious, the way we lash out others when feeling low, or how sad we look at everything when we are depressed. Everything is different and we want it to go back to the way it was. That’s the starting motivation for many of us when we first start to pursue recovery. But, unfortunately, that isn’t possible. We can go through recovery and get to a place that feels similar to how we were before, but we won’t actually be the same as we were then. That moment in our lives is gone and we are not the same person we were then. We have learned too much, grown too much, and have changed too much to be able to say that we are the same. And that’s okay. It’s okay that you’re changing through all of this, it’s okay that you feel different than you did before you experienced all of this. That change doesn’t mean you are less than who you were; it’s the exact opposite.
Embracing the Change
Embracing the change you will undergo is a vital part of recovery. We have to accept the fact that we are not going to be who we were before, and we have to accept the person we want to be. We are all afraid of change, it’s part of our human nature, but we can’t forget that changing is what makes us better humans. We’re not saying that the people around you won’t be able to recognize you when it’s all said and done, but that you will, at some fundamental level, be different, and that should be celebrated. You have grown, gotten stronger, and learned more about yourself than you ever thought possible. That isn’t something to be afraid of or let down by, it is something to be proud of. You are doing something that not many people are brave enough to do and you can be the person that inspires them to find that bravery. Welcome that change for what it will do to you and how it will affect you for the better. You can still hold onto those pieces of you that you are proud of while ridding yourself of the things you don’t like. Hone in on who you truly want to be and get rid of those things keeping you back from being that person. Recovery is meant to challenge who you think you are and who you want to be.
Change is terrifying. We know it and you know it. We feel safe in the comfort that being the same provides. It is something we know and understand, and therefore trust it to not bring us any pain. But stepping out of that comfort is vital for us getting better. We cannot sit idly by and let fade away; it’s going to linger and stay with us through all of it. We have to look at ourselves and find the things that need to change, find the answers to the problem that we can fix. It isn’t something to shy away from or be fearful of; it is something to embrace and support as we try to be the best we can be. Don’t let your sense of safety keep you from being better. Accept the change and your desire for it, and let the healing process begin.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]